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I remember going to a thing with an old boyfriend once. It was a fancy thing that required shoes, not Birkenstocks, and I’m pretty sure I was wearing a dress (don’t faint). I don’t remember the occasion, but boyfriend’s mom and her date were there too, and boyfriend’s mom’s date was a really good dancer.

Like, ballroom twirly stuff.

I am not a good dancer.

I grew up in a church that didn’t even allow instruments in worship, for heaven’s sake (pun-intended), and dancing was certainly not on the list of approved activities so, you know, I’m pretty much dance-challenged.

Remember Kevin James in that Will Smith movie where Will Smith is the cool dating guru and he’s trying to teach Kevin James to dance, but when Will Smith isn’t looking Kevin James does his white boy ugly dance thing? Well, I make Kevin James look good.

So, we’re at this thing and I’m trying to be all cool, nursing a glass of wine because I also grew up strictly non-alcoholic but I was young and trying on this Little Rebellion but I didn’t really like the taste, to be honest. So I sipped a bit and chatted uncomfortably with people I didn’t know who were sipping more than a bit, and then boyfriend’s mom’s date asked me to dance.

Gulp.

It wasn’t pretty.

I just couldn’t get my feet to do what my brain was telling them. Shuffle shuffle stumble apologize shuffle shuffle.

I wanted to do it. I wanted to glide around the floor effortlessly, dipping and swaying or at least not having to count out loud. In my head I could do it. I could see myself doing it. But … no.

Rhythm on the dance floor does not come naturally to me.

Rhythm, spiritual rhythm, is not natural for me either.

Religion is easier. Do’s and don’ts, and if you slip up and do the don’t, repent and start over.

But this whole thing of living a life that flows beautifully in the rhythm of spiritual practices and disciplines? It feels like I’m back on that ballroom dance floor. I can see the beauty in my head. I long for it to be natural and effortless. But I know I’m awkwardly stumbling around, bumping into things and stepping on toes.

This time, though, I really want it. I’m willing to take lessons and practice and endure the awkwardness of trying to do it better. To live it better. To dance.

Solitude. Sabbath. Lectio Devina. These are some of the new moves I’m working on.

Anyone else want to dance, too?

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